GST: Uttarakhand High Court orders Release of Vehicle, Mango Kernel Oil, Rice Bran Oil confiscated on Mere Suspicion [Read Order]

Uttarakhand High Court - Vehicle - mango kernel oil - mahua oil - Taxscan

The Uttarakhand High Court ordered the release of Vehicle, mango kernel oil, mahua oil, rice bran oil confiscated on mere suspicion under the Goods and Services Tax Act ( GST ).

The petitioner, M/s A.P. Refinery Pvt. Ltd is engaged in the supply of Rice Bran Oil (Grade-II). The petitioner was transporting Rice Bran Oil from its factory located in Jagraon, Punjab to a dealer, namely M/s Sheel Chand Agroils Pvt. Ltd, located in Lalpur, District Udham Singh Nagar in the State of Uttarakhand. It was transporting the said consignment of Rice Bran Oil through three trucks. In order to transport the consignment, the petitioner raised three e-Invoices.

According to the petitioner, the moment the e-Invoices were generated on the portal of the respondent department, the transaction immediately got reflected, and accounted for with the respondent department. Moreover, the petitioner generated e-Way bills from the e-Way portal of the respondent- department. These e-Way bills contained cross-references to the e-Invoices. These e-Way bills were to expire on 30.03.2021.

Since the e-Way bills had expired within three days, the respondent, the Assistant Commissioner (GST-State), issued three separate orders for physical verification/inspection of the consignment. Upon physical verification, the description on the e-Invoices was found to be matching with the physical goods verified in the vehicle, namely fixed vegetable oils of vegetable grade i.e. mango kernel oil, mahua oil, and rice bran oil. Even the quantity of the goods recorded in the e- Invoices matched with the physically verified quantity.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma clarified that mere suspicion is not sufficient to invoke the provision of the confiscation. Moreover, the petitioner should be given an opportunity of being heard according to the intent of the Legislature before passing the confiscation order as mentioned in sub-section (4) of Section 130.

The court noted that the respondents have completely failed to show that the petitioner was indeed, given an opportunity of being heard before passing the orders of the confiscation in Form GST MOV-11. The confiscation orders passed under Section 130 in Form GST MOV-11, are not found to be passed in accordance with the law. Therefore, the said impugned orders are liable to be quashed and set aside.

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